It looks like Heinz Field will be home to another team with striking black and gold colors or should we say– die Schwarzgelben — this summer.
As reported on previously here on Pittsburgh Soccer Now, German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund will be playing at Heinz Field — and we now know its opponent will be Portuguese side Benfica F.C. on Wednesday, July 25 as part of the International Champions Cup tournament. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m.
The preseason match will be the last of a three-game round-robin competition that will take them through various cities in the United States.
The final stop in round-robin play for both will be in Pittsburgh.
The International Champions Cup features club teams from Europe playing pre-season friendly matches, beginning originally in the United States and Canada in 2013, but in the years since also in venues in China, Australia, Mexico and across Europe.
With matches scheduled between July 20 and August 12, the 2018 International Champions Cup will take on a new format. Whereas past Tournaments recognized a winner within each participating continent, this year’s competitive structure will take on a more cohesive format, reigning one overall global champion.
Boasting the world’s best soccer clubs, the upcoming competition includes all of 2018’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinalists, among other elites teams, including: Real Madrid C.F.; Manchester United F.C.; FC Barcelona; Manchester City F.C.; Tottenham Hotspur F.C.; Liverpool F.C.; Chelsea F.C.; Arsenal F.C.; A.S. Roma; Juventus F.C.; A.C. Milan; F.C. Internazionale; Club Atlético de Madrid; Sevilla FC;Borussia Dortmund; F.C. Bayern Munich; Paris Saint-Germain F.C.; and S.L. Benfica.
Exclusive presale tickets will be available starting April 24, 2018, with general on-sale ticket access starting on May 1, 2018. Fans can sign up on the International Champions Cup website for access to the pre sale. All venue-specific and other ticket information is available at International Champions Cup newly-launched website.
If you didn’t already know, one of Dortmund’s top players is 19-year old American Christian Pulisic, from Hershey, PA, and father Mark Pulisic currently is an assistant coach with the Riverhounds.
Dortmund and ICC officials will be in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to get a walk-through of the facilities in preparation for the July 25 match.
It has also been confirmed that Dortmund will be making Pittsburgh its training base when in the states, and will likely be training at Heinz Field prior to its match vs Benfica.
Here’s the full ICC schedule for Dortmund:
- July 20: Borussia Dortmund vs. Manchester City, 9 p.m. – Soldier Field, Chicago
- July 22: Borussia Dortmund vs. Liverpool, 4 p.m. – Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte
- July 25: Borussia Dortmund vs. Benfica, 8 p.m. – Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
Benfica will only play one other ICC match in the United States, against Italian power Juventus on July 28 at Red Bull Arena. Their third ICC match will be on July 20 in Switzerland vs FC Sevilla.
While both teams have their share of star power, this is a World Cup year, and because of that, many of top players from both sides may be held out of playing in many of the International Champions Cup matches.
One player that won’t be competing in the World Cup will be Pulisic, as the U.S. failed to qualify for soccer’s grandest spectacle this year, so it will likely be expected that we’ll see the Pennsylvania native in action wearing the black and gold at Heinz Field.
The last time Heinz Field hosted a soccer match between two European-based clubs was in July 2014, when Manchester City trounced AC Milan, 5-1, as part of the International Champions Cup.
That match was also highlighted by then AC Milan striker’s Mario Balotelli‘s selfie with a pair of field invaders late in the contest.
About Borussia Dortmund
The storied German club was founded in 1909 and is one of the most successful clubs in Bundesliga history.
Dortumund currently sits fourth in the Bundesliga standings as it’s been a bit of a rougher than usual campaign for the one club that usually one of the primary contenders against stalwarts Bayern Munich for supremacy in Germany.
Dortmund last won its league title in 2012, won the German Cup in 2017 — and is a one-time winner of the UEFA Champions League (1997) –and finished as runner-up in a memorable Champions League final vs Bayern Munich in 2013.
After Peter Bosz’ reign ended, Peter Stoger was brought in to bring some stability. But the Austrian coach currently has his club hanging on to fourth place, and a spot in the Champions League, by a thread.
The club has its share of superstar players beside Pulisic — namely 2014 World Cup hero Mario Götze. Additional notable big names for Dortmund include Marco Reus, Shinji
Ironically, Dortmund’s biggest rival is also a club that’s been doing some cross promotions with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC in the past two years, Shalke 04.
The top club in Primeira Liga, the top flight of the Portuguese football league and regular UEFA Champions League contestant, Benfica are the current Portuguese champions, having won four consecutive league titles and are easily the most decorated pro club from Portugal.
This season however, they’ve been challenged at the top by it’s two rivals at the top of the Primeira Liga table – Porto and Sporting.
Among the top players for Benfica include Brazilian Jonas Gonçalves Oliveira — or better known simply as Jonas who has 33 goals in league play this season. Other notables include Mexican Raúl Jiménez, Brazilian veteran Luisão and Pizzi.
There is one American — Keaton Parks – who has been part of US Men’s National team U20 squad, and has been signed to play for Benfica through 2022. The 20-year old has featured primarily with Benfica’s B team, but has made three league appearances for its senior club.
Exclusive presale tickets will be available starting April 24, 2018, with general on-sale ticket access starting on May 1, 2018. Fans can sign up on the International Champions Cup website for access to the presale. All venue-specific and other ticket information is available at International Champions Cup newly-launched website.